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Man found shot in Toronto playground known to police

Daniel Davis

Handout/Toronto Police Services

A new round of gunplay in Toronto has claimed the life of a man known to police, the fourth person to die in barely 48 hours.

Police say that residents in the Lawrence Heights area reported hearing gunshots shortly after 1 a.m. Officers found the victim in the playground of a primary school. The man, described as being in his 20s, was showing "obvious gunshot wounds" and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim was identified as Daniel Davis, 27.

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Homicide Detective Mike Carbone said the victim was known to police.

"It's not something that concerns me," said Det. Carbone. "It's not something that is a real serious issue for me or the police service."

Mr. Davis's mother, Andrea Wilks, said he was not a criminal. "He might have been arrested, but there was no criminal record," she said.

Mr. Davis went by the nickname Mr. Snoop, according to Tony Murray, who said his children attended school with Mr. Davis.

Ms. Wilks, who said she last spoke to her son at Christmas, said she did not believe her son was at the Danzig barbecue on Monday. 
"I have no idea about those areas," Ms. Wilks said.

Ms. Wilks said Mr. Davis lived with his grandmother in the Flemington area.

She described the local housing complexes as magnets for crime. 
"My opinion about this place here just needs to be torn down."

Roy Pettigrew, 62, was visiting neighbours near the school when they heard gunshots.

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"We thought they were fireworks," he said, sitting across the street from the scene, still cordoned off with police tape on Thursday afternoon.

Mr. Pettigrew, who moved to the area about three weeks ago,  described it as pleasant and quiet. While he said he wasn't rattled by the shooting, its proximity to his apartment, located next to the school, was not lost on him.

"It's getting pretty close to home," Mr. Pettigrew said. "It's more or less in my backyard."

The shooting comes on the heels of a spate of violence that has left some city residents afraid.

On Monday night a gunfight at a community barbecue in Scarborough killed two and left 23 injured in what Police Chief Bill Blair called the worst violence in the city's history. Another shooting, this one in the Jane/Eglinton area, left a man dead Tuesday night.

The violence had Toronto Mayor Rob Ford calling for reinforcements. On Wednesday, before the latest shooting, he said he would be pushing the federal government for stricter gun laws and going to the province for more money for the police's anti-gang strategy.

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